Summary of the Court's Findings
The Court Order
For the first time in the history of motorcycling in North Carolina, patch holder-clubs in North Carolina have united to fight discrimination against their lifestyle, mode of transportation, and dress. Joining the ranks of similar Confederations which have been formed nationwide in nearly every state of the union, the NCCOMC seeks to use every legal means possible under state and federal law to enforce their rights as freedom loving citizens.
Towards that end, the NCCOMC puts forth the following statement to all patch holders in North Carolina: It has been keenly apparent to anyone who is at all aware of what has been going on in this world, that we are losing our freedom to make our own choices. No matter which way we turn, new laws are in place or are being proposed that restrict our very lifestyle. Those groups of people who choose to live a somewhat different lifestyle than what is considered to be "the norm" in their particular society are even more heavily restricted. Such groups not only suffer under more intense legislative pressure but are also burdened with more severe judicial penalties and law enforcement practices as well.
In the 1970's motorcyclists, like many other groups, began to recognize the fact that theirs was a group that had better start to protect their interests. This realization ultimately led to the formation of many Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (MROs) designed to fight for the rights of all motorcyclists. Many of these MROs were started by patch holding members of clubs who soon determined that it would be preferable politically to turn the leadership of such organizations over to non-club related motorcyclists.
In the mid 1980's many of the MROs, seeing the massive size and power of the opposition, began to unite with one another. They knew that they had to develop a network of communication and cooperation if they were to stand up against the massive resources available to the insurance companies, governmental agencies, etc. In the late 1980's, after experiencing much negative judicial pressure, some members of the patch holding clubs in Southern California felt that they must once again step forward and rejoin the fight to secure their freedoms. A few farsighted club leaders decided that the most productive way to add their support to the cause was to form an organization of patch holding clubs which would focus on judicial issues and also provide financial support to those causes which the MROs dealt with on their behalf. This seemed a good alternative as it would add a judicial front to the already effective legislative one provided by the MROs; and thus the Confederation of Clubs of Southern California was formed in 1988.
In and of itself, this was a significant milestone in motorcycling history. For the first time motorcycle clubs joined together in a united effort to protect the rights of all motorcyclists. If accomplishments and growth can appropriately be used to determine the value of this idea, then it seems that it was and is a very valuable one. For example, since it's inception, the Confederations of Clubs have fought and won most, if not all, of the judicial issues regarding discrimination that they have undertaken. On numerous occasions they have provided funds to MROs and even independent attorneys to file law suits in local, State and Federal Courts to stop legislative encroachment on the rights of all motorcyclists. Some of these suits have had great effect in gaining these rights back. Also, in it's short existence, growth has occurred in two areas.
First: the Confederation of Clubs of Southern California added members continually until almost every club in that area is now a participating member. Second: Numerous other Confederations have come into existence and appear to be making a very significant impact in areas throughout North America. Although the common goal of all the Confederations is to fight for their member clubs' rights through the courts against biker discrimination, governmental intrusion and harassment, each of these Confederations is totally independent of one another. Their structure, methods of operation and specific goals are completely based on their own decisions. Each area covered by a Confederation has it's own unique situations to live with, and therefore must remain free to deal with them as they see fit. However, this does not mean that there is no communication between the different Confederations.
Every Confederation has, of its own choice, joined NCOM ("National Coalition of Motorcyclists") along with many MROs, clubs and other associations. At least twice each year the representatives of these organizations gather at a national and/or regional NCOM convention where they get to know each other and share what is going on in their particular area. The hope of many is that these encounters will eventually develop into an effective network of communication which will result in an even stronger unity between all the freedom fighters across the country and even the world. The Confederations' major focus is in the area of biker discrimination. In many areas, businesses refuse to allow colors to be worn in their establishments. Likewise, as anyone who wears colors can tell you, the law enforcement authorities treat patch holders more severely in many cases. The Confederations consider such acts to be discriminatory and want it known that they will use every legal means possible to stop such practices. In their effort to achieve this goal, the member clubs gather regularly to discuss incidences which have occurred to members of participating clubs. The facts are laid out and discussed, and if it seems appropriate, a vote is taken as to whether to pursue the matter, even through the courts if necessary. If affirmed, litigation is embarked upon.
At these meetings, clubs are also advised as to how to appropriately talk to proprietors and police officers, and how and when to file complaint forms. The legal approach is stressed as the only method appropriate to any situation. Each Confederation has its own attorney who is present at each meeting - in North Carolina that attorney is Robert "RAD" Donat.
Individual club business is NEVER discussed, only issues of discrimination all too common to bikers. The requests for help from MROs and others who fight on the front lines for the rights of motorcyclists, legislatively and judicially, are considered and voted upon at these meetings as well. If affirmed, the support is provided. As you can see, the goals of our Confederation here in North Carolina are very simple. We are united and dedicated to legally fight against any encroachment on our freedom to choose our lifestyle by law enforcement authorities, insurance companies, local proprietors, and any other special interest group. We mean to do this legally, through the courts if necessary; and in cooperation with, and in support of, the MROs and any others who fight for the rights of motorcyclists.
The NCCMC knows that the war will be long. Perhaps none of us will ever see the end of it, but we are united in our dedication to fight every battle and win every one we can. The enemies of motorcycling will learn, if they haven't already, that the harder they fight us, the closer and more united we become. The North Carolina Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs seeks the support of every patch club in North Carolina. Meetings are held every other month. Join us in fighting for our rights. For more information contact any of the member clubs listed below, or contact one of our our Co Chairs; George "Trip" Lowery, or John "Bomb" Baucom. You may also contact our attorney Robert "RAD" Donat or call toll free at 866-377-5660.
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